Dynamo, Magician Impossible Review
On first impressions, non-magic aficionados could be forgiven for thinking that the British TV magician Dynamo is quite similar to David Blaine, who gained much notoriety in the late ‘90s with his series Street Magic. But there’s in fact one very notable difference that sets the two apart: people, it seems, actually like Dynamo — people, for instance, like Snoop Dogg, who has affectionately referred to the 29-year-old trickster as his “home boy”.
Blaine never achieved such popularity or any glowing admiration from perpetually spliffed up rappers and after casing himself in Plexiglas box next to the Thames, he became almost universally despised: a fate that the general pubic bestow on all magicians after we get bored with them.
But not Dynamo surely. At the screening for his second TV series Dynamo: Magician Impossible, people are struggling to suppress their love for the Bradford-born illusionist. And when the man himself walks through the door, the room erupts with applause.
“There he is!” screams one woman. “He’s actually magic!”
The reaction couldn’t be more positive in the room, but then ten minutes into the first-episode, I suddenly realise that I’ve missed something. Where others see magic, I see gratuitous film editing.
For instance, one scene sees Dynamo seemingly melting some loose change that’s been given to him by some Bradford teenagers, simply by holding the coins in his hands. The teens are absolutely astounded by what they witness, but for viewers, who see the trick interrupted by a clumsy cutaway shot, the neat little trick loses its credibility.
The same can be said for a similar trick in which Dynamo appears to leave a steaming hot imprint on a pane of glass, and the scene where he signs a DVD copy of the first series of Magician Impossible by shaking it like an Etch A Sketch—both of which feature hilariously convenient cutaways just before the magic supposedly happens.
It’s a shame because Dynamo is clearly a remarkably talented magician, as evidenced by the tricks that aren’t ruined by surprise camera changes. However, the programme makes it damn near impossible to feel as remotely wowed as its participants appear to be.
Nevertheless, there are some quite impressive tricks, like the one where the trickster repeatedly predicts what card a professional poker player is holding in his hand and his interactions with supposedly random people on the street are a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, though, this is all let down by Dynamo’s monotonous, droning voice over, in which he repeatedly tells viewers about how much of a big success he has become in the past few years. This is hardly his fault, however judging by the lack of enthusiasm he reads these lines with, I’d be surprised if he actually wrote the words himself.
Magician Impossible is best when Dynamo comes back down to earth and heads back to Bradford, where he drives around with his mates and tries his tricks out on his adorably sweet grandmother. There are also some touching scenes about the recent passing of his grandfather, who, we learn, inspired Dynamo to become a magician in the first place.
Overall this leaves us with a very mixed bag of tricks, tricks that have been hyped up to laughable extremes by Watch (#everythingwillchange, the channel insists we tweet).
The scenes featuring Dynamo’s friends and family are the highlights, but the programme’s makers should have just kept it simple. We don’t need so much narration, constant cutaways or shots of the magician looking dark and moody. Just having him doing tricks would have sufficed.